What To Know About Your Debt-To-Income Ratio When Buying A HomeWhen you apply for a mortgage, your lender will do some quick math to figure out how much of a loan you can afford. Your lender will consider many factors, and one of the most important ones is your debt-to-income ratio. It is usually shortened to DTI, and understanding this formula can help you better understand how big of a house you can afford. 

An Overview Of A DTI

Your DTI represents the amount of money you spend compared to the amount you make. Your lender is going to have very strict DTI requirements when deciding whether you can be approved for a mortgage. The lender wants to make sure you are not taking on a loan that you cannot afford to pay. If you cannot pay back your mortgage, your lender ultimately loses that money. Generally, your lender will want to see a lower DTI as they go through your application.

Front-End DTI

Your front-end DTI includes all expenses related to housing. This includes your homeowners’ association dues, your real estate taxes, your homeowners’ insurance, and your future monthly mortgage payment. In essence, this will be your DTI after your lender gives you a potential loan. 

Back-End DTI

Then, your lender is also going to take a look at your back-end DTI. This the first two other forms of debt that could go into your DTI. A few examples include car loans, student loans, credit card debt, and personal loans. Generally, this is the most important number because it is debt that you already carry when you apply for a mortgage. Your lender can always make adjustments to your home loan to fix your front-end DTI, but your lender does not have any control over your back-end DTI. 

What Is A Strong DTI?

Every lender will take a slightly different approach, but lenders prefer to see a total DTI somewhere around 32 or 34 percent. If you already have this much debt when you apply for a mortgage, you may have a difficult time qualifying for a home loan. On the other hand, if you don’t have a lot of debt, your lender may qualify you for a larger home loan. 


The Minimum Credit Score For VA Home Loan Approval: What To KnowWhen you are applying for a home loan, you need to make sure that you meet the minimum credit score requirements. If you decide to go with a traditional loan, the credit limit can be high, making it hard to qualify for a home loan. In contrast, you might be able to qualify for a VA home loan with a much lower credit score. What do you need to know?

The VA Does Not Have A Minimum Credit Score Requirement

One of the major benefits of applying for a VA home loan is that you do not need to worry about meeting a minimum credit score requirement. There is no minimum credit score you need to qualify for a VA home loan, as there are lots of factors that the lender will consider when reviewing your application. Your credit score is only one factor. At the same time, you are encouraged to have a credit score between 580 and 660 to increase your chances of being approved for a home loan.

There Are Other Benefits Of Applying For A VA Home Loan

In addition to the lack of a credit score requirement, there are other benefits of applying for a VA home loan. For example, you do not have to worry about putting any money down. While you might be able to get a lower interest when if you decide to put money down, you are not required to do so. You also do not have to worry about paying PMI, even if you do not put 20 percent down. This is just another way that a VA home loan can help you save money.

A VA Home Loan Could Be The Right Option For You

With so many benefits of applying for a VA home loan, it makes sense to do so; however, you need to make sure that you meet the eligibility requirements. For this reason, you should work with a professional who can make sure you qualify for a VA home loan for your next purchase.

Understanding Your FICO Score and Why Small Credit Mistakes Can Cause Huge HeadachesMany people all over the world are dealing with issues involving debt or poor credit history, but most aren’t necessarily aware of what exactly makes up their credit score. Unfortunately, it might seem like it’s the big stuff that counts when it comes to credit, but little things can have a significant impact on your financial health. If you’re looking to improve your understanding and your finances, here’s what you need to know about small mistakes and your FICO score.

Making Late Payments

The due date on your bills might seem like an advisory, but whether we’re talking about a student loan, a credit card payment or your telephone bill, late payments can add up. Your payment history constitutes 35% of your total FICO score, which means that even a couple of late payments can have a marked impact on your overall credit. Instead of leaving this to chance, set aside a day each month before your bills are due to ensure they’re all paid off.

Applying For New Credit

It’s often the case that a store will offer special deals if you sign up for their own in-house credit card, but this can cost you big since the amounts you owe make up 30% of your credit score. Also, because lenders will often assume that you’ve run out of credit if you apply for a new card, applying for new credit can be a red mark against your FICO score. 

Forgetting Credit Altogether

It might seem like the best possible option for avoiding credit issues is to avoid using credit altogether, but your credit history constitutes 15% of your FICO score. This means that you should have at least one credit card in your possession so that you can use it to build a history of lending success. While you won’t want to use more than 30% of your credit limit, it’s important to show proven experience in paying back your lenders.

Many people think that bad credit is the result of overspending and huge debt amounts, but your FICO score is largely determined by your payment history and your available credit. If you’re trying to buy a home in the near future, contact your local real estate professional for more information.

Mortgage Shopping And Your Credit ScoreThe vast majority of people have to take out a home loan to purchase a house. This means applying for a mortgage. Unfortunately, shopping for a mortgage can actually hurt your credit score. Any potential lender will probably have to do a hard pull on your credit. This could temporarily reduce your credit score by a few points. Those few points could make the difference between qualifying for a mortgage and getting denied one. Fortunately, there are ways for you to shop for a mortgage without hurting your credit.

Check Your Credit Score First

First, you need to check your credit report before you start shopping for a mortgage. By law, the major credit bureaus are required to give you at least one free credit report every year. This is your opportunity to take a look at your credit report and correct any inaccuracies that might be present. That way, you can correct these issues before you apply for a mortgage instead of after. This can save you a significant amount of time during the shopping process. 

Get Pre-Qualified For A Home Loan

You should also get pre-qualified for a home loan before you start shopping in earnest. When you get pre-qualified for a mortgage, you receive an estimate of how much money you can borrow to purchase your home. This means that the lender will run a soft inquiry on your credit report, which will not impact your credit score. Pre-qualification is not as strenuous as the full approval process, and you will eventually have to go through the full application process to get your mortgage; however, getting pre-qualified is a great starting point.

Submit All Applications Rapidly When You Find The Right Home

After you apply for your first mortgage, you will have 45 days to talk to other lenders. As long as all of your other hard credit pulls take place within about six weeks, subsequent applications should not have an impact on your credit score. This means that you need to have all of your documents together, which will allow you to expedite the process. That way, you can find the best deal you can on a mortgage without unnecessarily impacting your credit score. 

The Top Questions To Ask A Mortgage LenderWith many people interested in taking out a home loan, it is critical for potential homeowners to think carefully about which loan structure is right for them. There are a lot of home loan options out there, and potential homeowners need to make sure they consider the benefits and drawbacks of all options. This means asking the right questions. What questions do you need to ask your mortgage lender?

How Big Of A Down Payment Do I Need?

The first question you need to ask your mortgage lender is about the down payment you need to make. A smart rule of thumb is that you need to put 20 percent down for your house; however, this is a large sum of money that many people do not have. If you are buying a home for the first time, you might be able to get a home for 3.5 percent down. Always talk to your mortgage lender about this issue.

Is My Credit Score High Enough?

Next, talk to your mortgage lender about your credit score. The higher your credit score, the easier it will be for you to qualify for a home loan. You may want to talk to your mortgage lender about your credit report to see if there are any inaccuracies that need to be fixed.

Do I Need To Get Mortgage Insurance?

Do not forget to ask your mortgage lender if you need to get mortgage insurance. If you put less than 20 percent down on your house, you might need to get insurance, but your premium should go down as your equity goes up. Then, once you reach 20 percent equity in your home, you should be able to get rid of mortgage insurance. Clarify this with your mortgage lender.

Find The Right Home Loan For Your Needs

These are a handful of the top questions you need to ask your mortgage lender if you are thinking about taking out a home loan. With so many loans available, it is easy to get confused. Remember that the right loan for one person is not necessarily the right loan for you. Your mortgage lender can help you put yourself in the best position possible to be successful. 

How Long Does A Refinance Take?If you want to save money on your mortgage, refinancing your house could be a great move. As long as you have plenty of equity and a great credit score, you should be able to qualify for the refinance process. At the same time, you might be wondering, how long will it take you to refinance your house? There are several factors to keep in mind, so be sure to work with a professional who can walk you through the process.

It Usually Takes A Month Or Two

In general, refinancing your home loan will take a month or two. Most refinances will be completed in 30 to 45 days, but every lender is different. It depends on how complicated your mortgage is, the other refinancing applications the lender is processing, and the number of staff they have on hand. If you are in a hurry to refinance your mortgage, you may want to talk with the lender to see how quickly they can process your paperwork.

The Lender Has Several Tasks To Complete

There are several tasks the lender will need to complete before he or she can approve your refinance application. First, the lender needs to make sure you have enough equity in your home to complete a refinance. Then, the lender will also check your credit score to make sure it is high enough to qualify. The loan officer will also make sure your mortgage is not behind. Similar to the original mortgage application, the lender will also have to complete inspections and appraisals before your refinance can be approved. All of these tasks take time, which is why you should anticipate spending a month or two refinancing your home. 

Work With A Professional

Every lender is a bit different, so be sure to talk to the lender ahead of time to understand how long the process takes. If you have a deadline you need to meet, starting the process earlier is usually better. That way, you leave yourself time to address any hurdles that may develop along the way. Refinancing your home loan is a great way to draw cash from the equity in your home, lower the interest rate on your mortgage, and save money.

Why Did My Application For A Refinance Get Turned Down?If you want to save money on your home loan, you might want to refinance. During the refinancing process, you could secure a better interest rate on your home loan. You could also withdraw cash from your home’s equity value to cover other expenses. Similar to a regular mortgage application, some refinance applications are denied. Why is this the case, and what should you do next? 

Your Debt To Income Ratio Is Off

One of the most common reasons why an application for a home refinance is turned down is that the applicant has too much debt. The lender will not want to refinance a homeowner who has too much existing debt. If you have credit card debt, car loans, or student loans, you may want to pay down some of this existing debt before you apply for a refinance. 

Your Credit Score Is Too Low

Your credit score is still going to play a significant role in your application for a refinance. If your credit score has gone down since you purchased the house, you may have a difficult time refinancing. You should always request a copy of your credit report and correct any issues on that report before you decide to apply for a refinance. 

Your Home Value Has Gone Down

The lender may also deny your application for a refinance if your home has gone down in value. Your home is used as collateral for the loan. If the home has gone down in value, the lender might be worried that the value of the home may not pay off the balance of the loan in the event you start missing payments. You may have to wait for the home’s value to go back up before you can refinance. 

Work With A Professional Team

If you want to refinance your home, it can be frustrating if your application gets denied. Fortunately, that doesn’t mean you cannot apply again. You should work with a professional team that can take a look at your refinance application, figure out why the application was turned down, and rectify the situation. Sometimes, an application is turned down simply because the lender doesn’t have enough information or the application was not filled out properly. 

How Can You Secure A Better Interest Rate When Refinancing Your Home Loan?If you want to save money on your home loan, you may want to consider refinancing. During the refinancing process, you will replace your existing home loan with a new one; however, you want to secure the lowest interest rate possible. How can you get a better rate on your mortgage during the refinancing process? 

Consider Refinancing Your Home Loan To A Shorter Term

If you can create less risk for the lender, you can get a lower interest rate. One of the ways to do so is to refinance your home loan to a shorter term. If the average interest rate has gone down, you might be able to keep your monthly payments the same while paying off your home loan more quickly. If you can refinance to a shorter loan term, your lender might reward you with a lower interest rate. 

Consider Paying Off Your Existing Debt

You can also secure a better interest rate on your home loan by paying off your existing debt. This includes student loans, car loans, and credit card debt. You might want to use the proceeds from a cash-out refinance to pay off your existing debt. The lender might give you a lower interest rate if you have a better debt-to-income ratio. 

Always Check Your Credit Report Before Refinancing

Your credit score will also play a significant role in your interest rate. Before you refinance, you should request a free copy of your credit report. There might be inaccuracies in the report that you need to correct before you apply for a refinance. Furthermore, if your credit score has gone up since you purchased the home, you might be able to secure a lower interest rate from the lender. 

Secure A Better Mortgage Rate When Refinancing

One of the many benefits of refinancing an existing home loan is that you may be able to secure a lower interest rate. You want to get the lowest interest rate possible, so consider working with a professional who can help you put these tips will work for you. Getting a lower interest rate on your home loan could save you tens of thousands of dollars over the life of the loan. 


Making Sure You Are Ready To Take On A MortgageThere is so much to know when it comes to homeownership that even wading into all of the information can seem overwhelming, but if there’s one thing you need when the time comes to purchasing a home, it’s to be prepared. Here are a few ways that you can ensure you’re ready for what a mortgage entails so that buying your dream home will be a positive experience you won’t regret.

Consider All Of Your Options

Instead of accepting the mortgage that your bank is offering you, it’s very important to do some research and determine what some of the best options out there are for you. While it’s entirely possible that the option pushed forward by your bank will work out, in the days of so much information online it’s silly to go into your biggest purchase blindfolded. Take some time out and read about the products available so that, when the time comes, you can make an educated decision.

Know Your Credit History

Lenders will most definitely be digging through your finances and credit history for anything that might make them leery of your financial state, but you’ll want to be aware of your own standing so that you can be prepared for what this might entail. By getting your credit report and score before going through the process of acquiring a mortgage, you can fix any errors that might be on your credit report so that you’ll be prepared for the result when the time comes for pre-approval.

Plan For The Future Possibilities

If the mortgage amount you are planning on paying seems feasible on a month-to-month basis, it’s certainly a good place to start, but if you not on a fixed rate mortgage, you will need to consider the ever-fluctuating state of interest rates, and you need to prepare for this reality at the same time. It’s important to base the amount you’ll be spending each month off of the income and expenditures that you’ve worked out in a budget, but you’ll want to add in some wiggle room so that a jump in the rates won’t sink your dream of home ownership.

There are many things to be aware of when starting the process of purchasing a home, but delving into your credit history and doing the necessary background research can make for a smoother experience. If you’re looking for advice on purchasing a home, contact your local mortgage professional for more information.

Does Shopping Around for A Mortgage Pre-Approval Hurt Your Credit Rating?Smart homebuyers know that mortgage rates and terms can vary widely among lenders. While your credit score and history will influence what rates and terms you’re offered, there’s a wide range of flexibility, which means shopping around for a pre-approval makes sense. At the same time, it’s important to minimize credit inquiries to protect your credit rating.

What is Mortgage Pre-Approval?

Mortgage pre-approval is often mistaken for mortgage pre-qualification. Pre-qualification is a process whereby the borrower personally submits their financial information to the lender. Pre-approval is the process whereby the lender does their own vetting regarding the income, debt and credit of a potential borrower. Pre-approvals will involve a hard “hit” to the credit score, due to the inquiry.

Pre-Qualification Doesn’t Guarantee Pre-Approval

Note that just because you are pre-qualified for a certain amount, that doesn’t guarantee pre-approval. So it’s important to go ahead and get the official pre-approval before shopping for a home. This will make you a more attractive homebuyer to sellers. 

Mortgage Hard Inquiries Make Credit Scores Dip

When lenders do a true pre-approval inquiry, it will make the credit score dip temporarily. This is an automatic process that happens because it looks like the person is looking to get more credit, which they are. Small drops from hard inquiries are temporary and will bounce back up in a short period of time.

Mortgage Inquiries Don’t Count

However, mortgage inquiries now don’t count on a credit rating, anymore. Lenders know that borrowers will be shopping around for the best rates and terms. As long as the inquiries take place in a short period of time, the inquiries will count only as one single hard inquiry, rather than multiple hard inquiries. In the event that multiple hard inquiries are noted on a credit report, as long as they are all from the same type of lender—a mortgage lender—it won’t count against the borrower.

The bottom line is that it’s wise to get multiple quotes when shopping for a mortgage. It’s more important to have a long-standing history of paying bills on time and managing credit well, than it is to worry about mortgage “hard inquiries.” Your real estate agent will help you to navigate getting multiple quotes in a short time span. Contact your agent to learn more.